Roofs are important, they keep your home or business warm and dry. At least they should, but sometimes your roof may not shed water and snow effectively, this can lead to ice and snow buildup that creates icicles and ice dams. If left unchecked, these issues can compromise your roof and lead to water damage inside the building.

So how do you prevent Ice Dams? Let’s take a look.

Roof Design

Ice dams often start in areas where the roof layout gets a little… creative. Crickets, dormers, intersections with walls, bay windows, and low slopes can all lead to ice dam troubles when mother nature gets her hands on them.

Designing a roof with the climate in mind is important in weatherproofing your home or business and preventing ice dam issues down the road.

Insulation

As heat rises from the attic through the roof, snow and ice melt and water runs down to the unheated eave. As water hits the cold eave and gutter, it can refreeze and lead to ice dams. A well insulated attic can help reduce heat loss this way, which reduces your risk for ice damming.

Prevention

The internet is full of ways to combat ice dams and reduce their ability to damage your building or allow water infiltration. Once you have an ice dam, controlling it is important to prevent further damage.

Ice melting chemicals can be used to fight the ice buildup, and a roof rake can help clear snow from the roof before it refreezes and increases the size of the ice dam.

Keeping gutters and downspouts clean and free of debris is critical to encouraging proper drainage and getting melting snow off of your roof.

Heat

Even the best laid plans can be foiled by mother nature. To truly protect a roof from ice dams you can install heat to melt snow and ice. There are a few options available to accomplish this.

Heating cables attached to the roof and gutter can create channels for water to escape from the roof and reduce the risk of ice dams. These are commonly used to manage ice dams. Warmquest recommends Heatizon GutterMelt for a robust and effective gutter cable.

Heatizon’s unique under roof heating systems are the best solution on the market for preventing ice dams. ZMesh and Tuff Cable in Invizimelt Panels can be installed beneath roof coverings to heat entire areas, as opposed to simple channels for drainage. Much like a heated driveway, these systems clear the roof of snow and ice. Our team can help you design a system to protect your roof from ice dams.